radiance of the seas - royal caribbean internatioal : cruise ship review & photos

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Radiance of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International - cruise ship review & photos

The leading lady in this cruise review is Radiance of the Seas - a 90,090 ton beauty that first entered service in March of 2001 for Royal Caribbean International (RCI). With a length of 293.2 m (961.9 ft) and a beam of 32.2 m (105.6 ft), she is (just!) able to transit the Panama Canal, which comes in handy as Radiance divides her time between Alaska and the sunny waters of the Caribbean and Hawaii.

Radiance of the Seas can take a maximum of 2,496 passengers (2,100 double occupancy) in 1,050 cabins, many of which have their own private balcony. No less than 858 crew members from 54 nations make sure all passengers are happy, while deep down in the belly of the ship, gas turbines and podded propulsion make sure noise and vibration levels are kept to a minimum.

It is on this magnificent vessel that my four friends and I spent 12 wonderful days in November, 2001, traveling down Mexico's Pacific coast, followed by a breathtaking transit through the Panama Canal and finally making landfall in San Juan, Puerto Rico. You might remember my long-time friends Lucy and Ilona from previous reviews. Adrie and Janneke, mother and daughter, are new to the joys of cruising, but didn't need much time to fully appreciate life at sea. Throughout this review I have incorporated their unbiased comments, which should help paint a clear and hopefully vivid picture of our Panama Canal cruise. Bon Voyage!

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Int'l
Year built: 2001
Building Yard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg
Gross Tonnage: 90,090
Length: 293.2 m (961.9 ft)
Beam: 32.2 m (105.6 ft)
Passengers (norm.): 2,100
Passengers (max): 2,496
Crew: 858
Service speed: 24.0 knots
Sister ships: Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas

Click for larger version

Radiance of the Seas at Cabo San Lucas
Radiance of the Seas at Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Radiance of the Seas at Oranjestad, Aruba
Radiance of the Seas at Cartagena, Colombia

 

Photos and text: 2001-2006 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

Originally published on February 23, 2002. This enhanced version published on April 9, 2006

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